In explaining why these same codes do not apply today — why adulterers are not stoned to death — she can only say, “Most Jews and Christians have long abandoned the practices associated with hard patriarchy” (51). She suggests this is because Jesus ignored certain Old Testament laws.
He was a revolutionary who used “selective literalism” and who broke these anti-adultery laws when he urged compassion on the adulterous woman (53).
From reading Evans’ book, you would think this was not the case.
In the first marriage, in this pre-fall union, we find the norm for all human sexual ethics, for marriage, for male and female equality, and for the distinctives to biblical manhood and biblical womanhood.
, much of Rachel Held Evans’ book could be summed up, sadly, as an attempt to discount the validity of Scripture.
I am hopeful that she does not intend for this to happen, but it is unfortunately what happens when she repeatedly speaks of the Bible as being outdated, useless in parts, and at times downright horrific — including at one point describing having a terrifying nightmare as she contemplated the texts (62). Evans is troubled by many things in the Old Testament, but especially by the harsh consequences in the law that follow from sexual sin — consequences that often required the death of men and women.
In her thoughts on polygamy, Evans claims the Bible never condemns it.They have forgotten that the concubine of Bethlehem, the raped princess of David's house, the daughter of Jephthah, and the countless unnamed women who lived and died between the lines of Scripture exploited, neglected, ravaged, and crushed at the hand of patriarchy are as much a part of our shared narrative as Deborah, Esther, Rebekah, and Ruth.We may not have a ceremony through which to grieve them, but it is our responsibility as women of faith to guard the dark stories for our own daughters, and when they are old enough, to hold their faces between our hands and make them promise to remember.So we must select what we want to obey and what we don’t want to obey (a troubling theme of the book that I addressed in my original review).
Evans claims that this is what Jesus did, after all, when he refused to stone the adulterous woman (John 8:3–11).When Evans addresses Eve in particular (which is very early in the book, pages xx–xxii), she fails to notice that Eve was taken out of Adam and created, not to be a helper (Genesis , 1 Corinthians 11:8–10).